FIELDNOTES
December 2020 

 The Monthly Newsletter of 
St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
 
689 Sugartown Road, Malvern, PA 19355
The Rev. Kevin Dellaria, Rector
The Rev. Diane E. Faison, Deacon 
610-647-0130
stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org
stfrancisfields.org
Our Vision:  
We aspire to be a growing community, worshiping together, celebrating our diversity & lay ministries, and offering God's healing love to all people.
 
Our Mission: 
We seek to foster spiritual growth & renewal while spreading God's message of love, healing and peace.
The Hope that Lies Ahead

Many of the scriptural lessons we hear during Advent come from Israel’s long years of hope for deliverance. Deliverance from sin. Deliverance from enemies that surrounded them. Deliverance from other nations who had taken them captive. Deliverance, even, from their own internal strife and divisions as a nation. Israel’s biblical history is, mostly, the history of Hope; Hope for the intervention of God that, for each generation, seemed just around the corner.

Yesterday, as I entered the church building in the morning for Sunday service, I felt the weight of our current situation, and the need for Hope, more poignantly than I have since COVID first appeared. Maybe it’s just me, but the recent increase in cases, the return of restrictions, and of renewed caution has been wearying. Our decision to go back to virtual-only services - to increase our vigilance again by reducing interaction and encourage social distancing - was necessary. But it was also troubling and difficult. And yet more than that, for me, it was a reminder to listen more intently to that biblical message of Hope.

It is no accident, I think, that from beginning to end the Scriptures are largely built around the concept of Hope. Specifically, the Hope that God is real, that God loves the Human Beings that were created in God’s image, and that God won’t abandon that creation. It’s in the poetry of Psalmist, in the cry of the Prophets, and in the theology that shaped the early Church. Christ himself, who underwent suffering and death before his resurrection, was to the early Christians - and to us now - the stamp of proof that God is faithful.

This could be the most unusual and difficult holiday season that many of us will ever have. But with that in mind, the challenge ahead inspires me to pay more attention to the words of my faith, handed on to me through centuries of human experience of longing for the divine in the midst of suffering. It’s our ancestor’s gift to me and you. A reminder that others have faced dark challenges, and embraced Hope, knowing that God was on their side.

So even though we are apart for yet another season, I encourage you to take time to hear the powerful message of Advent again; that Hope which is intrinsic to our Faith. Join us for virtual worship. Come to our drive-in Eucharist. Take a few moments to watch our daily Living Advent Calendar videos. Put the upcoming Advent Lessons & Carols on your TV, and let the words and music seep into your soul. Find a way to soak in the message of this season of Advent.

Because we do have Hope; hope that is a truth, not a wish. God is for us, not against us. And one day soon, we will be together again.

Advent Blessings,

Fr. Kevin

Christmas - Holy Eucharist - Virtual Worship Only
Livestreaming on Facebook and YouTube

Christmas Eve - Holy Eucharist at 4:30 p.m.

Christmas Day - Holy Eucharist at 9:00 a.m.

Watch your email for more details about
our Christmas Eve service!

Calendar
 
For the calendar of events, please click the link below to the website.
Advent Food Collection

The High School Youth Group has put together an Advent project that we hope you will participate in. Every day during Advent you are asked to donate a specific food item. These donations will be taken to the West Chester Food Cupboard. 


We hope you can donate what you can and any donation is very much appreciated. 

Collection day is Sunday, December 20. Time to be announced.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Diane in the office at 610-647-0130 or stfancisfields@stfrancisfields.org

Thank you very much!
 
High School Youth Group
Backpack Project Gifts Needed for Our Brother’s Place

Members of the St. Francis parish family are again being asked to remember the homeless people who seek shelter and a way to improve their lives at Our Brother’s Place, a unit of the Bethesda Project in Philadelphia, as you do your Christmas shopping. St. Francis has supported this very important outreach program for over 25 years, and the needs of those who are helped are as great as they have ever been.

Personal articles most needed include: backpacks or duffel bags, winter jackets and rain ponchos (all size Large or Extra-large), flannel shirts, sweaters, sweat pants and sweat shirts, underwear (especially long-johns), warm socks, knit caps, scarves, gloves or mittens, and sneakers (size 9 to 12). Also needed are towels, deodorant, anti-bacterial soap, canned coffee and sugar packets, as well as cleaning supplies such as liquid dishwashing detergent, Pine Sol with lemon, bleach and liquid toilet bowl cleaner.

PLEASE DO NOT WRAP GIFTS! A collection bin will be placed the drip off bins, under cover, in front of the church beginning Sunday, December 6. The deadline for bringing your Backpack Project gifts to the Church is Sunday, December 20. If you would like more information regarding this very meaningful Christmas outreach project, please contact Jim Borum. Many thanks!
New Service: Drive-In Eucharist!

Miss taking Communion? In December, short services of Holy Eucharist will be offered on Tuesdays @ 6 pm and Wednesdays at 12 pm, Dec. 1 to Dec. 23, in the main St. Francis parking lot, weather permitting.

The service will use a “drive-in” format and an FM radio transmitter so all may participate.

It’s easy!

1.) Drive to the church and park close to the main entrance doors.

2.) Turn your radio dial to 92.7 FM.

3.) (Optional) Turn your prayer books to page 396.

At the appropriate time in the service, Fr. Kevin and/or Deacon Diane will bring communion to you.

The service will take 10 to 15 minutes.
December 1 – Fall Prevention

On February 4 (pre COVID-19) Jim Herlihey from Chester County Hospital did a BBL presentation on “Fall Prevention”. The hospital is offering the same presentation via Zoom on Tuesday, December 1 - 11AM-12:30PM.

Please click here to register if you wish to attend.

Contact Shirley Warren with questions.
Virtual Coffee Hour
 
 Virtual Coffee Hour on Zoom 1st Sunday of the Month.
 
Join us at the link below to check in with St. Francis of the Fields Community Members following the 10 AM Virtual Service. If the group is large enough we will break into smaller groups for a portion to make conversation easier.
 
 
Meeting ID: 837 112 1983
Passcode: 323860
Phase II Renovations – Power Point Presentation

The Phase II Renovations Power Point Presentation is on the St. Francis website. Click Here to access.
St. Clares Wreath & Poinsettia Sale Pickup

Did you place an order for wreaths and/or poinsettias? Come pick up your Christmas flowers and greenery at church on Saturday, December 5 from 9 to 10:30 am. Please drive around to the back of the church, pull up to the sidewalk, and your order will be brought out to your car – no need to park or come inside the church building. Thank you for your support of St. Clares outreach!
Anti-Racism Committee
 
St. Francis is in the process of forming a parish Anti-Racism Committee.
 
The Anti-racism Committee at St. Francis will help support our church in its commitment to exposing the unfaithfulness and passiveness in ourselves that propagates exclusion and provides solace to unjust society. 
 
The committee will help develop and see through action steps to help us live more fully into the vows of our Baptismal Covenant to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. 
 
Any interested members of St. Francis should email Grace Wingfield to join. 
Virtual Discussion via Zoom
Led by Fr. Kevin
Sundays, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm
Nov. 29th - Dec. 20th
(see Zoom link information below)

A source of profound wisdom and challenging theological insight, Howard Thurman stands as one of the great philosophical mentors of the Civil Rights Movement. Disinherited, written in the late 1940's, is one of Thurman's most influential works, especially relevant in our contemporary context. Thurman's reading of the Gospels helps us begin to hear the message of those Gospels in a very different way by setting the words and teachings of Jesus in its original context of human suffering and liberation.

Jesus and the Disinherited is intelligent and penetrating, but also relatively short (132 pages) and accessible. It's one of the primary texts in the "Sacred Ground" anti-racism program of The Episcopal Church, and a foundation theological work on interpreting and responding to racism in a contemporary context.

*The initial discussion will cover the Foreward, Preface, and Chapter 1.

Copies of Jesus and the Disinherited may be purchased through most book dealers.


Time: Nov 29, 2020 11:15 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Sun, 4 occurrence(s)
    Nov 29, 2020 11:15 AM
    Dec 6, 2020 11:15 AM
    Dec 13, 2020 11:15 AM
    Dec 20, 2020 11:15 AM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99003543828?pwd=Z2xoeVk1eS8wVk5GVGRiMFZIc2g5dz09

Meeting ID: 990 0354 3828
Passcode: 911792
One tap mobile
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High School Youth Group
 
On Sunday, December 6 from 5 till 6:30 p.m. the High School Youth Group will meet at St. Francis.

All youth attending need to have permission from their parents/guardians to attend. They may send their permission to stfrancisfields@stfrancisfields.org. 

Don't forget your mask!

Blessings,
Deacon Diane
GIVE MEANINGFUL GIFTS THIS CHRISTMAS

DONATE TO CHARITY INSTEAD OF BUYING PHYSICAL GIFTS

One of the Christmas traditions at St. Francis is to offer alternatives to regular Christmas presents. There are so many in need in our community. Can you imagine not having food or a place to stay on Christmas morning?

Alternative Christmas allows you to donate to a local organization which helps people in need. Eliminate the hassle of shopping and send a gift to one of these charities. Your friend or loved one will have the joy of knowing their gift helped someone in need at Christmas.
Due to the pandemic, the focus will be on local charities that we have traditionally supported that provide food, shelter or essential services.  

Donations can be made directly to these charities through their website or by mailing personal checks. All the on-line sites allow the donation to be given in someone’s name. Many offer the option of “in tribute to” or “in memoriam”. Look for Special Instructions or boxes to check for the dedication. We encourage you to support the following charities in this time of great need and hardship. Thank You.

West Chester Food Cupboard       
431 S. Bolmar St., West Chester, PA 19382

Home of the Sparrow                 
969 E Swedesford Rd, Exton, PA 19341

Domestic Violence Center of Chester County             
PO Box 832, West Chester, PA 19381

Safe Harbor                    
20 N. Matlack St. West Chester, PA 19380

Community Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM)
300 Lawrence Dr, West Chester, PA 19380
Book Group

Friday, January 15, 7:30

Educated, Tara Westover
 
This is the unforgettable memoir of a young woman who was born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.
This book is a Chester County Library Book-club-in-a-bag. Elizabeth Pitt will pick up the books on December 7. Please contact her to make arrangements to pick up a copy. You can keep the book until our discussion in January and then return it to Elizabeth or the church office.
 
Friday, February 19, 7:30
The Daring Ladies of Lowell, Kate Alcott
Want to know more about us?

St. Francis-in-the-Fields is an active parish, even during COVID-19. For more information about our worship, outreach, and other ministries, visit our parish website, www.stfrancisfields.org. Our monthly parish newsletter, Fieldnotes, may be found by clicking HERE. Stay current on events by following our parish on Facebook.

Our Global Communion

St. Francis-in-the-Fields is a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, a member of The Episcopal Church, and part of the worldwide Anglican Communion